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Applicant Guidance

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Applicants’ Participation in Section 106 Undertakings Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Many programs and projects funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will be implemented by applicants who have received or are seeking federal assistance, permits, licenses, or approvals. Since compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) is required for all Recovery Act projects, these applicants will play a critical role in federal agency decision-making. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) oversees the Section 106 review process mandated by the NHPA.  Section 106 requires executive branch agencies to take into account effects of an undertaking on historic properties and afford the ACHP an opportunity to comment prior to approval of the undertaking. The ACHP’s regulations establish the process through which federal agencies comply with this requirement, and they recognize that applicants for federal assistance have a right to participate in the review and consultation about their project. 

The following tips will assist applicants and federal agencies in carrying out Section 106 reviews.  Keeping these in mind can help ensure that historic preservation reviews for Recovery Act projects are properly coordinated and consider issues important to avoiding delays in project implementation.

arrow Federal agencies are responsible for identifying the grantees and applicants involved in their Recovery Act programs, clarifying the type of undertakings subject to historic preservation review, and defining the federal agency’s role in project approval and oversight.

Applicants have a role in all federal historic preservation reviews regarding their proposed projects that should be clarified in an agency’s Recovery Act program guidance.

arrow Federal agencies should share agency directives on compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act with applicants to explain the level of compliance needed prior to the release of Recovery Act funds.

Applicants should determine whether a delegation of authority letter has been developed by the federal agency for a Recovery Act program allowing the applicant to initiate the Section 106 review process with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).

arrow Federal agencies should share any Section 106 agreement documents that streamline reviews with applicants and clarify the applicability of these agreements to Recovery Act projects.

Applicants should advise the federal agency about other agencies, organizations, and individuals with an interest in the project potentially receiving Recovery Act funds, so they can be formally invited to consult about historic properties.

arrow Federal agencies should ensure that the applicant understands the terms of any agreement document that is executed to conclude the Section 106 process, as the applicant may be responsible for implementing its terms.

Applicants should contact the SHPO once federal involvement in the project is clarified, the project scope has been defined, and geographic boundaries for the project and its Area of Potential Effect are established on a map.

Applicants can contact the federal agency, through its federal preservation officer, or the ACHP at any time with questions regarding interpretation of the Section 106 regulations.

Applicants should consult with the federal agency providing Recovery Act funds for guidance about conducting historic preservation/cultural resources surveys and studies to inform the Section 106 review process. Local sources of information can help an applicant document the presence of historic properties. These include local historic preservation commissions, universities and colleges, historical societies, and statewide and local preservation organizations.

arrow Federal agencies cannot delegate to applicants their responsibility for government-to-government consultation with federally recognized Indian tribes.



Updated April 14, 2009

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